18. May, 2014

The tick nurse!

When considering becoming a nurse, I also considered being a vet. It would have been a lot more useful at our home for waifs and strays.

      Quite often I get phone calls asking for my help to rescue an injured animal. These animals include birds, lambs, hens, cats, dogs, field mice, hedgehogs and lots more. But just recently, I’ve being getting phone calls to help rescue swarms of bees.

      I am not a bee keeper, but I have friends who are and I’ve seen how they jump at the chance of retrieving a swarm of buzzing bees. And they do it so gracefully, and without a wince! Me, a lover of all animals, watch from a safe distance, with my hand over my mouth. The thought of being stung is not something I relish.

      A few days ago I was asked if I could remove a tick from a cat in the village. This is something I have to do quite regularly throughout these coming months and although not exactly difficult, it is better you know what you’re doing, not to spread disease.

      The tick needs to be removed by the head, using a fine tipped tweezers or indeed a tick remover, which we have at the home for waifs and strays. Pull firmly upwards without twisting. Don’t squash or touch the tick as this can transmit disease. You can use a cat-safe antiseptic cream once removed. And don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Lesson over!

     Chickens are one of the hardest to help, as by the time they show signs of illness, they are already very poorly. The best thing with chickens as with all animals is to know your pet well. Pick them up (unless, of course, your pet is a pig or a horse or something rather large) and get used to how they feel. Watch them and see if their tails droop or if there’s discharge from their eyes or noses. If in doubt, check it out. My father always told me that if you keep animals then you have to look after them.

       Even at our home for waifs and strays, our animals sometimes get sick. This is a part of living. But if we are mindful of are animals from the beginning, it helps reduce the number of incidences and casualties.   

“Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.”
Milan Kundera